Monday, March 18, 2019

Calanthe and Coco

2019 already has a good feeling about it. I'm not sure why, but it does.

Maybe because Spring has sprung at the garden of The Lents Farmer?

Maybe because my gardening optimism has returned?

Crocus 'Blue Pearl'
I'm finally thinking again about my garden's evolution and what needs to be done and what could be done, especially if I won Powerball. 

My calendar is again full of nursery trips and plant sales. Every weekend is something!

April is jam packed with car trips and opportunities to satiate my burning plant purchase needs. Some of these trips are now sacred annual events, something I share with best friends.

The garden will be open to HPSO member again this spring for three visits.

I have even already potted up a few plants for the Spring Garden Blogger's plant swap?!? 

I don't have anything specific on my 2019 "Must have Plant List" and I kind of like not knowing what to buy.

After saying that, I still want to increase the number of hardy terrestrial orchids in the garden and the bogs. 

Alan, the Mardi Gras Gardener, went to the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in Seattle in early March. He told me he and his sister were visiting friends in Seattle, but neglected telling me the part about going to the show. He's such a kook.

Alan made it up to me by bringing back two Calanthe ('Yellow Lipsticks' & 'Kojima Orange') from Keeping it Green Nursery, who I've been buying fancy hardy terrestrial orchids from at Hortlandia the past couple years..

I've lusted over Calanthe in the display gardens at Sebright Nursery for a long time and just knew I should try to grow them. The jury is still out on the two planted last year, but I have a good feeling about them too. They will be popping up in no time.

The Calanthe came in a plastic bag with a little soil/sawdust and I potted them immediately and gave them a nice window to relax in until they could go outside. 'Yellow Lipsticks' is currently blooming happily in my kitchen window waiting for a new shady home.

My new intern, Cosette (aka "Coco") is also beginning her spring gardening lessons.

So far she's not doing very well, but I am optimistic she will get it all in time. It's a lot to take in.

She's slowly learning to stay out of the flowerbeds, but it's going to take a while. She finds moss and bark mulch irresistible and I spend a lot of time sweeping her mouth for things she shouldn't have. 

So far, she's perfected plucking out Crocus bulbs . At one point recently, I saw her streaking across the front yard with a wad of newly unplanted bulbs. She's now the reason daddy swears a lot.

Coco ripped off a substantial portion of a tree peony because it looked like a "stick". In one fell swoop she removed one fifth of the plant and ran around the yard like she'd discovered the best toy ever! She was so proud of herself!

She also recently met the owners of Xera Plants, Paul and Greg, and as we were chatting, walked up to some for sale plants and started pulling the leaves off. Oops, sorry about that!  

We're currently learning NOT to eat bumblebees on the Arctostaphylos 'Greensphere'. Coco is torn between obeying my yelling "No!" and her desire to taste test one. She doesn't yet know they taste like "spicy lightening"...

There is just so much to look forward to this year!

I just hope Coco doesn't develop a taste for fancy orchids or bumblebees...

Calanthe 'Yellow Lipsticks'
Intern Coco mulching a Camelia flower